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GP, 47, took her own life after 'unbearable pressure of the job finally got to her'

A GP killed herself after the pressures of her job became ‘overwhelming’, her husband said – paying tribute to a ‘wonderful, beautiful and banana woman, mother and doctor’.

dr. Gail Milligan, a partner at the Camberley Health Center in Surrey, was found dead in the woods by a search team last week after being missing for nearly 24 hours.

Her husband, Christopher, wrote on Facebook that “the excruciating pressure of her job finally got to her,” adding: “We have no doubt the job has made her sick.”

He originally shared the post in a Facebook group, but it has since been widely shared on Twitter after he gave permission to make it public.

dr.  Gail Milligan, a partner at the Camberley Health Center in Surrey, was found dead in the woods by a search team last week after being missing for nearly 24 hours.

dr. Gail Milligan, a partner at the Camberley Health Center in Surrey, was found dead in the woods by a search team last week after being missing for nearly 24 hours.

Describing his wife, a 47-year-old mother of boys, as ‘the best of us’, he wrote: ‘Her job as a partner in a GP practice became overwhelming. Especially during the pandemic.

“She saw patients face-to-face all the time, as well as the incredible amount of telephone consultations that took place.

“She saw old people die in care homes during the pandemic and worked in vaccine centers.”

Milligan said the “pressure not to make mistakes” and the “endless emails and paperwork” meant his wife “neglected herself.”

“She used to leave for work at 6:45 am and usually didn’t come home until 7:30 pm and 8:00 pm,” he said.

“When she came home, she generally worked until I forced her to bed at 11pm.

“That was a “lazy” four days a week. On her ‘lazy’ day off on Thursday, she worked about 12 hours. Meetings on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, endless emails and phone calls. This has been missing on the weekends lately.

‘The same workload all weekend. Very recently, she hasn’t even had time for an hour of dog walking. All that and running the practice.’

Mr Milligan described how his wife was in charge of human resources in the operating room, and last Sunday she received an email that “hit her so hard she never recovered”.

“She went into a deep, deep depression from Monday to Wednesday when she committed suicide,” he wrote.

‘We have tried to intervene. Her colleagues tried their best to get her out. Offer to take over from her and try to reassure her that her thinking about a situation was wrong.

‘And it was wrong. She had lost the ability to think rationally. Something had gone wrong in her head. By the time we realized what was going on, it was already too late.’

dr.  Milligan graduated from the University of Manchester in 1998 and trained as a GP in Reading before joining Camberley Health Center in 2003

dr.  Milligan graduated from the University of Manchester in 1998 and trained as a GP in Reading before joining Camberley Health Center in 2003

dr. Milligan graduated from the University of Manchester in 1998 and trained as a GP in Reading before joining Camberley Health Center in 2003

Milligan said his wife’s suicide was “not a cry for help, it was clearly the only way she could see her suffering stop.”

“She was so proud of our boys and never dreamed of doing anything to hurt them,” he wrote.

‘The mental illness, however, thought otherwise. Looking back and talking to friends and family, I think she hid it for years, helping other people deal with their own mental health, neglecting her own.

“It’s such a sad waste of an amazing, beautiful, funny and absolutely banana woman, mother and doctor.”

Mr Milligan continued: ‘Next time you hear someone whining about lazy doctors, please stop and think about what happened to my wife. We have no doubt that the job made her sick.

“Me and my boys are broken. Especially me. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again. We were together thirty years this year.

“It was almost always a lot of laughter and fun with huge amounts of pissing. My boys have lost their mother and I have lost my best friend.’

Mr Milligan originally shared the post in a Facebook group but it has since been widely shared on Twitter after he gave permission to make it public

Mr Milligan originally shared the post in a Facebook group but it has since been widely shared on Twitter after he gave permission to make it public

Mr Milligan originally shared the post in a Facebook group but it has since been widely shared on Twitter after he gave permission to make it public

dr. Milligan graduated from the University of Manchester in 1998 and trained as a GP in Reading before joining Camberley Health Center in 2003.

She was described as a “dedicated and passionate practitioner” who was “dearly loved and respected by patients and colleagues alike.”

On a memorial page, one patient described her as “empathetic, thoughtful, wise and professional in every appointment I had with her.”

‘Dr. Milligan was a wonderful person who supported me through some of my toughest times. I will never forget the empathy she showed, her kindness and humor,” wrote a second.

Fiona Edwards, Chief Executive of NHS Frimley, said: ‘Everyone at NHS Frimley was shocked by the unexpected passing of Dr. Gail Milligan, a much loved friend and colleague and a much respected and admired physician.

“We are partnering with her practice to provide support through this difficult time, as well as supporting wider associates who knew and worked with Gail.

“We want to extend our condolences and condolences to the many who have already been extended to Gail’s family and friends.”

For confidential help and support, contact Samaritans at 116 123 or visit their website.

‘There just aren’t enough GPs to cope with, and now there’s one less’: the full heartbreaking post

I’m afraid this post is not my usual diarrhea and bullshit. Apologies. My wife passed away on Wednesday. She was missing for nearly 24 hours before a search and rescue dog team found her body in a forest. The unbearable pressure of her work finally dawned on her. For years she has been giving everything she had to other people in her professional life and also privately. She really was the best of us.

‘Her job as a partner in a general practice became overwhelming. Especially during the pandemic. She saw patients face-to-face all the time, as well as the incredible amount of telephone consultations that took place. She watched old people die in care homes during the pandemic and worked in vaccine centers. She was responsible for training several GPs over the years, currently training three of them. She also collaborated with other medical organizations such as the CCG and many others. All that, and her patients too.

“The pressure not to make mistakes and the endless emails and paperwork caused her to neglect herself for the last few years of her life. She used to go to work at 6:45 am and usually didn’t come home until 7:30 pm. When she got home she generally worked until I forced her to bed at 11pm.

That was a ‘lazy’ four days a week. On her ‘lazy’ day off on Thursday, she worked about 12 hours. Meetings on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, endless emails and phone calls. This has been missing on the weekends lately. Same job all weekend. Very recently, she hasn’t even had time for an hour of dog walking. All that and running the practice. Human resources was also her responsibility, and unfortunately that turned out to be the thing that broke her.

“Last Sunday afternoon she opened an email that hit her so hard that she never recovered. She went into a deep, deep depression from Monday to Wednesday when she committed suicide. We have tried to intervene. Her colleagues tried their best to get her out. Offer to take over from her and try to reassure her that her thinking about a situation was wrong. And it was wrong. She had lost the ability to think rationally. Something had gone wrong in her head. By the time we realized what was going on, it was already too late. Her colleagues told her to take her Wednesday afternoon off and go home.

She never came home. Instead, she drove into a forest, walked deep into it where she would be nearly impossible to find, and committed suicide in the most violent and shocking way. This was not a cry for help. This was clearly the only way she could see her suffering end. It has been suggested that she has had a psychotic episode. If you knew my wife, you would know how far from normal this was for her. She was so proud of our boys and had never dreamed of doing anything to hurt them. Mental illness, however, had other ideas. Looking back and talking to friends and family, I think she hid it for years, helping other people deal with their own mental health, neglecting her own.

It’s such a sad waste of an amazing, beautiful, funny and absolutely banana woman, mother and doctor. Everywhere something that had nothing to do with reality. The next time you hear someone whining about lazy doctors, please think about what happened to my wife. We have no doubt that the job made her sick. Me and my boys are broken. Especially me. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again. We were together thirty years this year. It was almost always a lot of laughter and fun with huge amounts of sex. My boys have lost their mother and I have lost my best friend.

Sorry for this message. I would like to say that normal service resumes, but it doesn’t. I’m exhausted. And finally… an hour after I found out Gail was dead, I had to put our dog to sleep. Aggressive cancer had torn her apart at breakneck speed. She spent her last 24 hours cuddled between two police officers on our couch.

The police stayed with me from the moment I reported my wife missing to the moment they found her… And some more. I will be eternally grateful to the Thames Valley Police and the Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue team who were the team that found her. No woman. No mother to our boys. No dog. And I thought it was bad to lose my father a year ago. What was I thinking? There just aren’t enough GPs to cope with, and now there’s one less.

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